National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

Webcast 9
Research and Dissemination in Indian Country: Indianonish, Email, and Other Surprises

December 14, 2007, 2:00 PM (CST)

About the Webcast

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. has been conducting applied research on reservations in the Great Plains for 20 years. Recent projects include development and empirical validation of two computer-integrated training projects: Caring for Our People, a staff training on care for Native Americans with disabilities and chronic illness and a NIDRR-funded small business project, Disability Access, a training for people with disabilities and their families.

This three-part presentation focuses first on false assumptions and cultural differences that prevent effective research and dissemination on Indian reservations. These pitfalls are common to both new and experienced researchers. In short, a true experimental design is seldom a valid method for research on reservations. Standard methods of recruitment of subjects don’t work, and researchers’ views of the benefits of their work differ vastly from the opinions held by most reservation residents.

The second part of the presentation discusses modifications to typical research designs to effectively work on Indian reservations. These include budgets for personnel residing on the reservation studied; flexibility to re-schedule, often at the last minute; timelines that allow for repeated notices of planned events; multi-method recruitment and the need to recruit far more subjects than required by the research design.

The third part of the presentation summarizes the research by Spirit Lake Consulting on the means by which individuals with disabilities and their families obtain information.  Recommendations are made for the application of these findings to recruitment of subjects for research and dissemination of research findings.

About the Presenters

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars has worked on reservations throughout North Dakota for over 17 years as a tribal college faculty member, evaluator for tribal grant-funded projects, and staff trainer. With Dr. Erich Longie, she developed the first Internet course ever offered by a tribal college. She is the author of numerous scientific articles; the main focus of her research is on family involvement of relatives of people with disabilities. Dr. De Mars is vice-president of Spirit Lake Consulting and a member of the faculty at Loyola Marymount University and at Pepperdine University.

Dr. Erich Longie is a "success story" of vocational rehabilitation, the first member of the Spirit Lake Dakota to earn a doctorate, a former college president, and co-founder of a technical services company headquartered on the Spirit Lake Nation. His primary research focus has been on Native American education, from elementary school through tribal colleges. Dr. Longie is president of Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.

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This webcast is supported through the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), which is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education, and is supported in part by ILRU. The opinions and views expressed are those of the presenters and no endorsement by the funding agency should be inferred.

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NCDDR is funded by the
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Project Number: H133A060028
U.S. Department of Education